Describe a Happy Childhood Memory: IELTS Speaking (3 Cue Cards With Example Answers)

In part two of your IELTS Speaking test, the examiner might give you a childhood cue card that asks you to describe a happy childhood memory. This is a nice question because you can just tell a short story.

Here, we’ll talk about how to answer this question. You can also see three good example answers (go straight to the answers here). 

What You Can Talk About

For this question, you can just tell one of the stories you have prepared from your childhood. 

It’s a good idea to prepare lots of little stories for part two of the test. Here are some examples of childhood memories you might talk about:

  • A holiday or festival (Christmas, Tet, Holi Festival, Chinese New Year, Ganjitsu…)
  • A family vacation 
  • A special meal
  • A birthday party or gift
  • Games you used to play with friends
  • Sleepovers at your friend’s house
  • Exploring with your friends
  • A fun school trip
  • A trip into nature (exploring a forest, swimming at a beach, fishing in a local pond, camping trips…)
  • Something you enjoyed learning
  • A time at school you enjoyed
  • When you first learned to ride a bike
  • Climbing trees
  • Going to the church or temple
  • School sports days
  • Being in a school play
  • Winning a contest
  • Visiting a theme park
  • Your favorite food as a child
  • Your favorite TV shows
  • Reading a really good book
  • Listening to music
  • Getting money from the tooth fairy when your tooth fell out
  • Visiting family members
  • Anything else that comes to mind

Why It’s Good To Prepare Stories

Stories are amazingly useful in part two of the test because when you tell a true story, you can just remember the experience and say what you’re remembering. 

It helps you keep talking easily for 30 or 60 seconds. 

With a story, you can also show that you know good past tense. 

And you can use stories in Any part two answer!

What More You Can Say

After telling your story about a nice childhood memory, maybe you need to keep talking for another 60 seconds. You can talk about:

  • Why you enjoyed doing that activity
  • What you learned from that experience 
  • Why people in your country do that activity
  • Describe your friend in more detail
  • If you ever did that activity again
  • How things are different now 
  • Another similar thing you enjoyed as a child
  • Anything else connected to your story

Pay Attention to Your Past Tenses

Of course, when telling a story, be very careful with your past tenses (past simple, past continuous, past perfect…).

The examiner will be listening carefully to your past tense when you tell a story.

This is why it’s a good idea to prepare lots of little stories in advance, and practice them a lot. 

Focus on Vocabulary As Well

To achieve a band-seven score in a part-two question like this, it’s best to focus on using interesting vocabulary.

One great way to do this is by using a word group.

For childhood questions like this, you could prepare a ‘happy event’ word group, which includes words and phrases like ‘joyful, enchanting, carefree, playful, a memory I cherish, a joyous time in my life, I have fond memories of…, I feel nostalgic about…, take a trip down memory lane,’ and more. 

You can then use this same word group in many different kinds of part-two questions when talking about something you did before.

Read more about how to use word groups here. And you can see some word groups in action in the example answers below.

Example Answers 

Let’s take a look at three good answers to this part-two question. See if there are any good words and ideas you can borrow for your own answer. 

Childhood Memory Cue Card 1

Describe a happy childhood memory.

You should say:

  • What happened
  • Who you were with
  • How you felt 

And say why it’s such a happy memory from your childhood.

I’m going to talk about one of the most cherished moments of my childhood. It was a really lovely trip into nature that I took with my brother and parents, and I can remember it clearly. 

On a beautiful summer day, my family and I decided to take a trip to the countryside. I remember we packed our picnic basket with delicious food, like sandwiches and chocolate bars. We lived on the outskirts of a small town, so we could cycle into nature and on that day, we got on our bikes and started cycling. The sun was shining brightly, the birds were singing, and the gentle breeze blew in our hair as we cycled through the countryside. 

The reason I remember this trip so clearly is that my father took us to an enchanted forest. I was only about eight years old, and for me, it was like stepping into a magical world, full of tall green trees and sparkling streams. My brother and I explored it for hours, climbing over fallen logs, jumping over streams, and chasing each other around. Our imagination ran wild, as we pretended to be explorers discovering a new land.

Later, we sat down for a big picnic. As we sat down for our picnic, I felt really blissful and lighthearted. The food tasted even better in such beautiful surroundings. We all had the time of our lives, laughing and sharing stories, enjoying that fun-filled moment.

The memory of that day is unforgettable. It was a heartwarming experience that brings back such good memories. The innocence and joy of those days were wonderful. It was one of the best times of my life. 

I always feel quite nostalgic when I take a trip down memory lane and remember those childhood days with my brother and parents. It puts a smile on my face and also makes me feel a little sad because it was so long ago. I’ll always cherish my memories of that carefree and joyful time in my life.

Word Group Used: Happy Event

When describing this story, we focused on what a happy, joyful time it was. This means we can use some words and phrases from the ‘happy event’ word group:

  • Joyful
  • Carefree
  • Playful
  • Adventurous
  • Imaginative
  • Innocent
  • Nostalgic
  • Exciting
  • Enchanting
  • Fun-filled
  • Lighthearted
  • Blissful
  • Memorable
  • Whimsical
  • Magical
  • Unforgettable
  • Delightful
  • Heartwarming
  • Cherished
  • A joyous time in my life 
  • Wonderful occasion 
  • Delightful memory 
  • Sweet memory
  • A memory I cherish
  • One of my most cherished moments 
  • Had the time of my life 
  • Pleasant recollection 
  • Have fond memories of 
  • One of the best times of my life 
  • Reminisce about 
  • Feel nostalgic about 
  • Brings back good memories
  • Take a trip down memory lane 
  • The good old days 

Learn more about word groups here.

Childhood Memory Cue Card 2

Describe a happy childhood memory.

You should say:

  • What you did
  • Where you it happened
  • Who you were with

And say why this memory was such a happy one.

One of my fondest childhood memories was visiting a theme park with my family when I was about nine years old. I remember the experience was absolutely thrilling and exhilarating for my younger self. All the rides were so cool and rip-roaring fun, and sometimes scary too. 

From the moment we arrived, I was like a kid in a candy store, giddy with excitement and anticipation for what was to come. One of the rides that stood out to me the most was the giant rollercoaster that soared high above the park. I could see it from across the park, getting bigger and bigger as we walked to it. 

I remember feeling both excited and nervous as we approached the ride. When it began, we climbed higher and higher up the track, and I could see the entire park spread out below us. The view was breathtaking, and I remember feeling like I was on top of the world. Then suddenly, we were hurtling down and twisting left and right at breakneck speed, with the wind rushing past. I felt like I was flying. It was such a blast, and I couldn’t wait to go on it again!

We went on lots of rides that day. The whole amusement park was endlessly entertaining, and there was never a dull moment. I was just captivated and enthralled by the big adventure of it all. There was something new and exciting around every corner. I remember losing track of time and being completely engrossed in the experience. Yes, that’s definitely one of my happiest childhood memories. 

Word Group Used: Fun Activity

We focused on talking about how much fun this experience was. So we could use lots of good words and idioms from the ‘fun activity’ word group. Here it is:

  • Thrilling
  • Engaging
  • Exciting
  • Exhilarating
  • Amusing
  • Entertaining
  • Enjoyable
  • Delightful
  • Absorbing
  • Enthralling
  • Captivating
  • Riveting
  • Stimulating
  • Hilarious
  • A blast
  • The time flew by
  • I was like a kid in a candy store
  • I was on cloud nine
  • In high spirits
  • Rip-roaring fun
  • Having a ball
  • Giddy with excitement
  • Endlessly entertaining
  • Highly amusing
  • A source of great pleasure 
  • So much fun
  • Couldn’t put it down
  • Would play for hours on end
  • Would lose track of time 
  • Would while away the hours doing it

Childhood Memory Cue Card 3

Describe a happy childhood memory.

You should say:

  • When this memory occurred
  • What happened
  • Who you were with

And say why you enjoyed this experience so much. 

I think one of my happiest childhood memories was spending time with my dog, Max. He was a lively and energetic Labrador Retriever, and he was my constant companion and playmate throughout most of my childhood. We would spend hours together, running, jumping, and exploring the natural spots near to my home.

Max was a beautiful dog, with shiny golden fur and bright, intelligent eyes that sparkled with life. He was bursting with good health, always bouncing with energy and eager to play, whether we were chasing each other around the park or playing catch with a ball. He was so full of beans that when I told him we were going for a walk, he was almost bouncing off the walls, and I think I was too at that age! I remember it was impossible not to be infected by his contagious energy.

We would often play fetch with a tennis ball in the local park, and Max would race after the ball with all the enthusiasm and vigor of a young pup. He would bring the ball back to me, tail wagging and tongue lolling out of his mouth, ready to play again. 

Sadly, Max passed away when I was a teenager, and I was heartbroken. Losing my best friend was one of the hardest things I have ever had to face. But I will always cherish the memories of our time together, and the joy that Max brought into my life. He was a true friend and companion, and I’ll always remember his spirit of adventure and playfulness.

Word Group Used: Energetic Person

Here, we used an ‘energetic person’ to describe a pet dog. Yes, you can use the same words for a person to describe a pet! If you have a pet dog, why don’t you borrow some words from this group and prepare your own story? Here’s the word group:

  • Energetic
  • Active
  • Lively
  • Playful
  • Zippy
  • Sprightly
  • Spirited
  • Rambunctious
  • Hyperactive
  • Agile
  • Alert
  • Dynamic
  • Vigorous
  • Vigor
  • Robust
  • Animated
  • Full of life
  • Full of beans
  • Bouncing with energy
  • Bouncing off the walls 
  • Full of get-up-and-go
  • Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
  • Vibrating with pent up energy 
  • Can’t sit still for five minutes 
  • As busy as a beaver 
  • As busy as a bee 
  • Infected by his contagious energy
  • Bursting with good health 
  • Hale and hearty 

Now It’s Your Turn

Are you ready to answer this question yourself?

Give it a try!

First of all, prepare a word group. You can memorize one of the word groups on this page or create your own word group. If you need more ideas, you can see many more word groups here.

When you’re ready, set up the voice recorder on your phone.

Set a timer and ask yourself to describe a happy childhood memory. 

For 60 seconds, prepare your ideas and words. 

Then, start speaking and try to keep speaking for two whole minutes.

Afterward, listen to your recording and think about how you can improve your answer.

Keep repeating this process to get ready for part two of your IELTS Speaking test. 

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